independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Thirty unregistered teachers face being taken off State payroll

UP to 30 teachers face being knocked off the State payroll. Picture posed (Thinkstock)
UP to 30 teachers face being knocked off the State payroll. Picture posed (Thinkstock)

UP to 30 teachers face being knocked off the State payroll from today because they have not registered with the Teaching Council.

From today, any teacher who is not registered with the profession's standards body will not be paid a salary from state funds.

It is part of moves to underpin education standards, by ensuring that all those teaching in primary and post-primary classrooms are properly qualified.

But with 24 hours to go to today's deadline, about 20 teachers – 10 each in primary and post-primary schools – had still not applied for registration.

A further eight teachers in employment were still not registered because they had not provided all the required documentation with their applications.

Six of these are in the post-primary sector and two in further education. These cases are still being processed.

If a completed application is received and fully processed today, the teacher will be covered. Registration of teachers has been made compulsory under Section 30 of the Teacher Council Act 2001, which comes into effect today.

For the first time there will a comprehensive register of all teachers in the country that will be maintained by the council which has a statutory responsibility to promote the highest standards in teaching.

A person employed permanently as a teacher who is not registered cannot be paid by the State and, according to the Department of Education, in such cases, the department will sanction a substitute teacher.

As well as having appropriate qualifications, teachers on the register have to produce evidence of character and go through garda vetting.

URGENT

The initial registration fee is €90 and €65 a year for the required annual renewal.

Director of the Teaching Council Tomas O Ruairc said the council did not want to see any teacher go unpaid, which is why it was critical that no registered teacher allowed their registration to lapse.

As the deadline for registration approached yesterday, the Teaching Council said there were around 86,940 teachers on the register.

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn said the promotion and regulation of teaching was both "important and historic".

He said it was in the best interests of children, and the education system as a whole, for the State to pay only registered teachers.

Legislation will allow schools to employ an unregistered person when no registered teacher is available – but only in urgent and unforeseen cases.

In such cases, the maximum length of time an unregistered person can be engaged is limited to just five days.

Teaching Council chairperson Micheal O Griofa said that for more than 30 years, teachers had recognised that regulation was a critical part of their professionalisation and a means of vindicating the public's trust.

Irish Independent

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